Higher Education Quick Takes
The Army is shutting down eArmyU, a major distance education effort of the last 10 years, Army Times reported. More than 64,000 soldiers have participated in the program, though only 1,429 are doing so today. Army officials said that other educational programs -- some of them online -- were filling the need once met by eArmyU.
An article in Bloomberg Businessweek reviews the slow progress of women on the faculties of business schools. Women make up 29 percent of business school faculties, up from 24 percent a decade ago. But most of the growth has been in the junior faculty ranks, and women make up only 18 percent of full professor positions.
The chancellor of North Dakota's university system said he had fired the president of Dickinson State University in the wake of charges that the institution inflated its enrollment statistics, the Associated Press reported. Chancellor William Goetz said that he had delivered a notice of termination to Dickinson State's Richard McCallum after the president failed to respond to a letter Goetz sent him last week urging him to resign. McCallum had told faculty and staff members that he would not resign.
WASHINGTON -- A survivor of the Virginia Tech shootings and the author of a book advocating more gun ownership debated here Monday as part of a conference held by a group that favors broader access to weapons on campuses. The 2011 meeting of Students for Concealed Carry, which fell just just three days after false reports of a gunman at Virginia Tech evoked a mass shooting similar to the one in 2007 that left 33 people dead, including the gunman. Colin Goddard, who survived the Virginia Tech shootings and now works for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said that preventive measures like strengthening background check laws would be more effective than changing state laws to allow guns on campus, as several states have passed or are considering. John R. Lott Jr., the economist and gun rights advocate who wrote the book More Guns, Less Crime, argued that penalties tacked on for carrying a firearm on-campus or in so-called "gun-free zones" only deter noncriminals from carrying weapons, as most perpetrators of mass shootings either commit suicide or plan to, he said.
A majority of college and university officials responding to a National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators survey said their campuses would be "moderately" or "greatly" affected if administrative cost allowances for federal financial aid were eliminated. The allowances, $5 per student receiving Pell Grants, are used to offset the expenses of administering campus-based financial aid programs, and are used primarily for salaries, office supplies, and training and travel.
The money is considered a possible target for deficit reduction, NASFAA wrote in a summary of the survey's findings. More than 500 institutions responded to the survey, and 31 percent said they would be "greatly affected" if the allowances were eliminated, including more than half of all responding public four-year universities. More than half of the public four-year universities said their financial aid office heavily depends on the funds. "Elimination of the ACA would have a detrimental impact on the financial aid offices that serve our nation’s postsecondary students," the group wrote. "We urge lawmakers to consider its importance and necessity as they make difficult budgetary choices."
The number of Latinos earning college degrees in California has risen sharply in recent years, but they still lag behind white students in graduation rates, according to a report from the advocacy group Excelencia in Education. Between 2005 and 2008, the number of Latinos with undergraduate degrees rose by 13 percent, compared to 8 percent for all other ethnic groups, according to the report. But a closer look at the numbers shows that Latinos still trail white students in graduation rates, completion rates per 100 full-time-equivalent students, and the number of degrees awarded per 1,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 44. The report highlights two programs -- the University of California's Puente Project and Evergreen Valley College's Enlace Program -- as effective in helping increase the number of enrolled and graduating Latino students.
Widener University has suspended a law professor, Larry Connell, even though he was cleared of charges of racial and sexual harassment, the Associated Press reported. The latest suspension -- which follows numerous battles between Connell and his dean -- is for his telling students about an earlier punishment he received. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which backs Connell, issued a statement with links to many of the documents and blog posts related to the dispute.
A package bomb on Monday injured two professors at a campus of the Monterrey Technological Institute, the Associated Press reported. The professors are in the hospital, listed in stable condition. Authorities, who are investigating, have not identified a motive.
The U.S. Justice Department and four states on Monday joined a whistle-blower lawsuit against Education Management Corp., a major player in for-profit higher education, charging that the company violated federal law by paying some admissions officers with incentives based on the number of students recruited. Congress barred such compensation out of the belief that it created incentives for recruiters to enroll students who might not benefit from programs, but who would use federal grants and loans. An EDMC statement to the Associated Press denied wrongdoing, saying that at the time of the alleged violations, federal regulations allowed some forms of incentive compensation, as long as other factors also went into the pay decision.